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The Global Expansion of ‘Good Doctor'

‘Good Doctor’ is a human medical drama about a young surgeon, who has been suffering from ‘Savant Syndrome’ (a phenomenon that shows brain dysfunction but superior ability in certain areas)" since birth, overcoming weaknesses and growing up as a good doctor.

TV series <Good Doctor> Poster, KBS, source KBS

‘Good Doctor’ is the first Korean drama to be remade into a regular season of American terrestrial broadcasting channel in Prime Time. What is more meaningful is that it surpassed 18.2 million viewers from the first episode of the show, beating the popular drama ‘Big Bang Theory’ in just three episodes, and topping the ratings of Monday dramas in the United States.

TV series <Good Doctor> Poster, ABC, source ABC

It is unprecedented for a remade Korean drama to continue through season 3 in the United States. The achievement in the United States was largely attributed to Lee Dong-hoon, CEO of Entermedia Pictures, and chief producer of the American version of Good Doctor.

Lee has led the production as the chief producer in all seasons. Since the introduction of ‘Good Doctor’ in the United States, he has selected and tapped producers and main writers to work with him just like he did with KBS (Korean Broadcasting System). "The success of 'Good Doctor' in the U.S. was possible because there were many attempts on great works in Korea," he said. "If events such as K-Story, an event held by the Korea Creative Content Agency that introduced Korean content overseas, did not happen ‘Good Doctor’ would not be the same as now.

One of the key criteria when choosing a remake is "how much it relates to the emotions and feelings of the local audiences." In this regard, the story of Good Doctor has done well on touching both emotions of the East and the West.

Currently, the series has been aired until season 3 and the production of season 4 has been confirmed as well. The U.S. version of ‘Good Doctor’ has established itself as the most-watched ABC drama of all time, with 12 million people watching each episode steadily.

TV series <Good Doctor> Poster, Fuji TV, source Fuji TV

Following the U.S. ‘Good Doctor’, Japanese version of ‘Good Doctor’ was produced in 2018 as a 10-part series through Fuji TV, a private broadcasting company.

"The series of overseas remakes of 'Good Doctor' is encouraging," he said. "There have been cases where Korean films have been remade like 'Oldboy' and 'Janghwa Hongryeon,' but dramas are meaningful in that they are a much larger medium of daily contact, closely related to the emotions of audiences."

"Korean dramas have shown a strong side in dealing with emotions by setting up characters well and adding melodramatic elements from time to time," he said. "As the quality of Korean genres is high, we need to make these dramas the focus of the Korean content industry.”

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